Leontief Says Third World Depends on Defense Spending

Nobel Prize winning economist Wassily W. Leontief told the Harvard Law School Forum last night that the only hope of saving the world's underdeveloped countries is to reduce increases in defense spending.

Leontief said that the world's poorer countries may be saved only by massive transfers of capital from the more developed countries. This transfer is impossible without reducing increases in defense spending, he added.

Leontief also ruled out Marxist revolution as a means of rejuvinating production in the third world nations.

"You may have more justice, but you have more trouble," the Russian born and educated economist told the crowd of about 300.

"Marxist revolution has not been conducive to productivity in the past," he said.

Leontief, a former Harvard economics professor said that population growth is a very important variable in predicting the future of world economy, and added "The future of many countries depends on population increase."

He explained that some lesser-developed countries may become so populated that it will be impossible to provide for them at a given rate of production.

By expanding domestic production and relying less on imports, the world's poorer countries may achieve a trade balance and may boost production to "provide them with exactly what they need," Leontief said.